Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Styrofoam Snowman Craft




As I sit typing this, the temperature outside is a chilly 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and we're in the midst of a little snowstorm. So, that put my daughter and I in the mood for a winter craft. We headed to our stash of craft supplies to see what we might come up with. We found a few Styrofoam balls, felt, beads, craft foam, and toothpicks. Perfect supplies for a snowman! I wouldn't recommend this for a younger preschooler, as there are small pieces involved, but you can certainly tweak it to make it a safe project for the littles. So, do you wanna build a snowman?


Supplies:

                                                          Styrofoam balls and base

                                                                              Felt

                                                                       Craft Foam

                                                               Beads, Buttons, Jewels


                                                                       Orange crayon

                                                                        Toothpicks


                                                                    

To make:

Using the toothpicks, stick one end in the bottom of the largest Styrofoam ball, and press the other end into the Styrofoam base, so it stands. Put a toothpick in the bottom of the medium ball and press it into the top of the bottom ball, then do the same for the smallest Styrofoam ball. Press beads in the color of your choice, into the smallest, top Styrofoam ball, to make the eyes and mouth. Using a sharp knife ( a parent's job), cut off the tip of the orange crayon. Press it into the face to make the nose
Cut a scarf out of the felt, fringing the ends. Tie it around the snowman's neck. Make a hat out of the felt. Use a glue gun to secure it to the top of your snowman's head. You can glue a bead or jewel to the hat as an embellishment.
Take two toothpicks and stick them in the side of the middle ball to make arms.
Cut out mittens from the craft foam, and glue them to the toothpick arms.
For an extra pop of color, press some beads into the base. That's it! A fun craft for your schoolager, and it makes a really cute centerpiece and table decoration.








Sunday, January 7, 2018

My Personal Reading Club




Hello, and Happy New Year! This week, I was thinking about what I want to be reading as the month of January gets going. A couple of these are selections that I began, but, being busy doing the mom thing, and the homeschooling thing, they were left waiting. No longer! I'm eager to get reading! 
Here they are:

Always True , by James MacDonald
When Life Is Hard, by James MacDonald
Way of Wisdom, by James MacDonald
The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace
Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough, by Cynthia Heald
Simply Relevant, from the Relational Bible Series for Women
Is College Worth It?, by William J. Bennett


I may need to start getting up a bit earlier, lol. What's on your reading list this year?




Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tea Light Snowmen





Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I'm still recovering, lol. These two weeks between Christmas and New Year's always throws me off. No matter, I still like a cute little craft to work on with my girls. These little snowmen are great because not only are they adorable, but they go together quickly as well. 

You will need:
 
Battery Powered Tea lights
Felt 
Black Sharpie
Hot Glue Gun
Scissors

To make:


Cut out a hat shape, and scarf shape from the felt, in your favorite colors. Fringe the edge of the scarf with scissors.



Use your sharpie to draw the eyes and mouth for your snowmen.



Grab the hot glue gun, and squeeze a bit of glue above the eyes, and below the mouth. Stick the hat and scarf on the glue.



You're done! Turn on the switch, which will make your snowman's nose glow orange, and enjoy the cuteness! We used these as a table decoration, but you can also glue a ribbon the sides of the tea light if you would like to hang it up.
Until next time,





Sunday, December 17, 2017

Wordless Weekend

Like most of you, our family is busy preparing for Christmas this week. Enjoy a peek at our holiday d├ęcor.


















Sunday, December 10, 2017

December Reading List




Hey there! This month is finding me scrambling to prepare for the holidays, in the midst of finishing up school for our first semester. Still, there are two titles that always come out at this time of year. I admit that I'm a bit late in pulling them out, but I'm not about to let the year pass without reading them yet again.

The first title is Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas, by Ace Collins. This book goes through 31 classic Christmas songs, and tells the story behind their creation. It always draws me and my husband in with the wonderful history. Actually, I think that I'm going to use this as a fun holiday assignment for my kids, and have them select a song, and research its origin. Maybe I'll have them find the sheet music, and learn to play a song or two, as well.

The second book is a light read that I always enjoy. It's relatively short, so I make my way through quickly, but I always love John Grisham's Skipping Christmas. This book features a couple, The Kranks, who make the decision to skip Christmas for a year while their daughter goes away to the Peace Corps. If the story sounds familiar, yes they did make a movie out of this book, but it didn't do justice to the written story! My holiday season doesn't feel complete without this one. Now if you'll excuse me, I only have a couple more weeks, so I need to get reading. What's on your reading list this month?



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Let The Little Children Come - A Review




I'm sure that I don't need to ask any of my readers if they have young children in their lives, as the content of this blog revolves mainly around homeschooling, crafts, and general products and resources for families. Maybe a better question would be, have you thought about how best to present the gospel to those children? I want to share a great child evangelism tool to help with that challenge.
This month, I received a free Let The Little Children Come To Me Gospel Tract kit to review, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Let me begin with some general information about this kit:

LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME

Let The Little Children Come aims to provide effective gospel tracts and evangelism tools and resources for children.
It is the hope that these tools and resources will help you in conveying the powerful gospel message to children.
the gospel tracts are all specially designed to capture and hold the attention of children, while not distracting them from the core message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

What's in the kit? 

There are several animated tracts. They are mini storybooks with distorted pictures, that then appear to move when the enclosed black and white screen is moved across each animation. They're pretty cool, and even my 12 year old got a kick out of them.



Then there are a couple mini pop up storybooks that tell about Jesus. Just like the ones you enjoyed as a kid!



Young crafters will enjoy the wordless bracelet kit. They'll string colored beads in a specific order as you discuss with them the symbol of each color, in order to learn about the gift of salvation.



Slightly older children will enjoy the flip about books. They take a minute or two to get the hang of, but you fold the book at a 90 degree turn, which allows you to then open it to a new photo.



Every kid that I've met loves those silicone bracelets. Let The Children Come To Me provides a multi-colored bracelet that comes with a small guide to help adults go through each color and talk about what each color symbolizes. It also includes a prayer of salvation. This would be great for parents, grandparents, teachers, Awana leaders, and on and on. This one was probably my favorite.


Finally, there is the wordless book. When I saw this in the kit, I thought that it might just be extra packaging, but oh no. The book is made up of colored pages, each of which represents an aspect of the gospel. Gold represents Heaven, Black page is sin, Red page is the blood of Jesus, White is forgiveness, Green is growth in our relationship with Jesus.



Every one of these resources includes detailed instructions in how to use, what questions to ask, Bible verses to use, and suggestions to grab the attention of your audience.
I really like this kit. What a wonderful way to present the gospel to young children, in a manner that engages their imagination and curiosity. Every one of these resources is small enough to take anywhere. Carry them in your pocket or a purse. Just like a little  portable mission kit, lol. These are useful for anyone who knows and loves Jesus, and wants to share Him with the children in their lives. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, Sunday school teacher, VBS volunteer, and I could list many more I'm sure, these are a wonderful way to further the gospel for the glory of God. I plan to keep these handy, and I hope you'll click on the links below, and get some for yourselves as well!
















Buy it here:


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Family Honor Plate and Table Thyme Discussion Cards - A Review




Have you heard of The Family Honor Plate? I had the chance to review one, in exchange for my honest opinion. At first glance, I thought that it might be something better suited for a family with preschool or younger elementary aged children. Wrong! This diy craft/soon to be family treasure works great with all ages. Let me share with you what it's all about.

First of all, what is it? The Family Honor Plate is well, obviously, a plate. You and your kids decorate it, allow at least an hour to dry, bake it for a half hour, cool completely, and then use it any time an occasion arises, to honor a member of your family. Think birthdays, milestones, special achievements, really any time that you want to show someone honor. That's festive enough in and of itself, but there's a little more to it. Table Thyme Discussion Cards ask all kinds of questions to get the conversation moving. They vary from, "What's your favorite day of the week, and why?", to "Do you have friends who help you make good choices?"

The kit we received includes 1 ceramic, ready to paint, honor plate, 8 little paints in various colors, 3 paint brushes, some "discussion starters", a fancy schmancy painter's palette, and a stand to display your plate after it's been decorated. In addition to all of that, we received a set of "Let's Talk!" discussion cards.



Here are some helpful tips for this project:

About the plate:
Step #1 MOM AND DAD - BE THE EXAMPLE. BE THE ROLE-MODEL:
The virtues are listed in the center of the plate for mom and dad to use as their anchor, their moral compass to guide them in how they need to show up for and to their children.  This is how our children learn what character (Christ's Character) is, what it looks like, what it feels like. Our children are watching us and learning from us. 

Step #2 BE ON THE LOOKOUT:
Look for the good choices and attitude your kids/spouse are making and showing throughout the day. Track it back to the virtues and character it shows.

Step #3 CELEBRATE THEIR CHARACTER:
Turn dinnertime into a celebration when you catch someone making good choices and showing good character and present their meal on the FAMILY HONOR PLATE.  This is when you:
·      Talk about the choices they made and the virtues and character that it showed (Be specific).
·      Talk about how they made everyone involved feel and the impact they had on people and how that is POWERFUL and BEAUTIFUL.

About the cards:
Every question is followed up with "Why?" to take everyone's answers to a deeper more intimate level.  That's where the magic is and the real conversation starts. So now when even a simple question such as..."What is your favorite dessert?" for example, rather than someone answering "Apple Pie" and then moving on to the next person, the whole family gets to walk down memory lane because it reminds them of Grandma Smith who always made apple pies with them when they came to visit." Her house always smelled of fresh baked pies and she gave the best hugs when we walked in the door." 

Communication is the key to connecting, building and maintaining healthy relationships.  When we are raise our children to be confident in their ability to communicate with others and get their point across, situations are less stressful and they have better outcomes.


Here's a video to help you out:



How about one more?






I have to take a minute and be honest here. When I took the plate out of the package and considered how to decorate it, the thought briefly crossed my mind to do it myself (she admitted through ashamed and gritted teeth, lol). You know, to have a prettier plate. I know, I know, that's wrong, and immediately defeats the purpose of this as a family tradition. But it was only a fleeting thought, and it quickly left as I realized how much pleasure my youngest in particular would have in painting. Truthfully, I underestimated how much fun both of my daughters, who are 12 yrs., and 13 yrs., would have in creating this project. It was also very fun to see the differences in their respective personalities (and oh boy, are they different) come through so clearly, in their designs. Having said all of that, the plate, in its now complete design and colors, does, as I feared, resemble a bruise, hee hee. But the girls LOVE it. My 12 year old has already named it a precious family heirloom. Take a look.


The decorating begins



You paint half, and I'll paint half


Put plate in cold oven, turn on to 350 degrees, and bake for  half an  hour. Cool completely.





The plate was complete, it was time for some honoring. We opted for general appreciation for the girls, as birthdays have passed for this year. Now yes, the treats for each were fun, but the best part of the process was the Table Thyme Discussion Cards. I truly was surprised at the uproarious laughter and general hilarity that ensued. Especially from my 13 year old, who often embraces the challenges of the teen years with gusto. In all seriousness, I thought that, as a homeschooling family, I knew my kids pretty well. But I learned a lot from the questions! Thought processes that surprised, and impressed me.


No, I didn't accidentally crop her out of the photo, she dislikes having pics taken.





I wasn't expecting to enjoy this kit as much as I did. My girls have brought out the discussion cards at every meal time since making the plate. My daughters are very big on family traditions, and it looks like we just added a new one here. I'm recommending this one for every family with kids at home. Also adding this to my Christmas list  for friends and family. I hope you'll check it out!


Want to buy it?